“Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.'” – Luke 7:39
Here’s the setup: Jesus had been invited to dinner by some of the prestigious religious leaders in town. It was not really a social courtesy, but they wanted to quiz Him – basically, they were checking Him out! And then, just after the salad course was served, a young, beautiful woman enters, drops to the ground beside Jesus, weeping so hard she actually uses her tears to wash his feet, wiping them with her hair.
I can just picture the Pharisees, jaws dropped to the floor, eyes the size of saucers. What do you think was going through their minds? The woman was of questionable reputation. And those Pharisees, they’re like a lot of good, long-time church folks who are quick to judge known sinners while being blind to their own sin. Sound familiar?
But, this woman had a great appreciation for Jesus because she was keenly aware of the immoral life she had lived. She was overcome by the forgiveness Christ offered her. So, there she was, her hair wet with tears, washing the feet of Jesus in an act of pure worship and gratitude.
Two very different responses to Jesus. Who do you most identify with? The religious moralists who felt they were right with God because their outward righteousness? Or the sinful woman who knew she deserved God’s wrath and judgment, yet was overwhelmed by His grace? I believe we all know the answer to that question.